flaxseed pancakes

Flaxseed pancakes, a weekend special

17 September 2010

After a week of hurried mouthfuls of cereal or toast before school, my kids love to have a real cooked breakfast on the weekend. This is our favorite pancake recipe. I love it because it doesn’t give me that brick-in-the-belly post-pancake feeling, and the kids love it because I add chocolate chips and blueberries.

Like camps of cookie lovers (soft vs crunchy, cakey vs chewy), pancake lovers seek different qualities in their pancake recipes. My mom likes hers thin and crepe-like, with crispy edges. Others like theirs big and fluffy. I like my pancakes small and fluffy, with various toppings or fillings – berries, bananas, nuts, chocolate chips. I add my fillings during cooking so I can satisfy both my blueberry girls and my chocolate chip boys.

This recipe calls for buttermilk, which makes the thickest, fluffiest pancakes. If you don’t have buttermilk, another option is 1/2 milk, 1/2 plain yogurt (which is what I used here). Otherwise regular milk works (with a slight adjustment in the baking powder and soda), and I often make them this way, but the pancakes turn out thinner.

I like to make these pancakes with whole wheat pastry flour, which is more nutritious than white flour but not quite as heavy as regular whole wheat flour. My kids don’t like whole wheat bread, but they love these pancakes. Even with the whole wheat pastry flour and flaxseed meal, the pancakes maintain a light texture. And of course the blueberries, chocolate chips and maple syrup in the batter make them especially yummy. (I’m beginning to look like a flaxseed nut here, but really I only use flaxseed meal in two recipes – this and the banana chocolate chip muffins.)

As usual, start with the dry ingredients – flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add wet ingredients (buttermilk, maple syrup, egg, vanilla) to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined (overmixing makes for flatter pancakes). Assemble batter with filling ingredients next to the stovetop.

I like smallish pancakes, so I use a small ladle or 1/4 c measuring cup to dole out the batter. You’ll want to start with a hot pan (hot enough that a few drops of water sprinkled on the skillet quickly sizzle away) and turn the temperature down to low for cooking. Once the pan is hot, it doesn’t take much of a flame to maintain the temperature. And it’s very easy to get a too-hot pan that will burn your pancakes.

Be quick to sprinkle on the pancake fillings. Cooking with a lower flame also gives me more time to get the blueberries and chocolate chips sprinkled on before the batter gets too cooked.

When small bubbles start to appear at the surface of the batter, it’s time to flip.

Hot pancakes now!

Flaxseed pancakes
Not health food – just great pancakes. Won’t leave you with a lead-belly feeling like other pancakes do.


  • 1 cup flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (can also use 1/2 milk, 1/2 plain yogurt – or see regular milk variation below)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)


  • chocolate chips
  • fresh blueberries

Regular milk variation

  • 1 1/4 cups milk (instead of buttermilk)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (NO baking soda)


  1. In a bowl mix flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl mix buttermilk, maple syrup, egg and vanilla. (Buttermilk makes much thicker pancakes than the regular milk variation. The 1/2 milk, 1/2 plain yogurt variation is somewhere in between.)
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until combined but do not overmix.
  4. Heat skillet on medium heat and add light coating of butter or oil to pan.
  5. Using small ladle or 1/4 c measuring cup, pour pancake batter to form individual rounds. Turn heat to low.
  6. Sprinkle chocolate chips or blueberries on top of pancakes if desired.
  7. When bubbles start to appear on the surface of the batter, use spatula to flip pancake.
  8. Cook until golden brown (watch carefully, as the second side cooks more quickly than the first).
  9. Serve hot with maple syrup.
  10. Serves 4.


    • Banana variation: add 1 mashed banana to batter (blueberries or chocolate chips are both great with this option).

    Click on link here for print version:

    Flaxseed pancakes recipe for printing

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lily 20 September 2010 at 12:35 pm

I’ve been using half whole wheat all-purpose flour in my pancakes– in an attempt to be healthier– but they aren’t always as light as I would like them. The whole wheat pastry flour idea sounds like a great solution. Now the only problem for me is finding it… my local grocery store doesn’t even carry white pastry flour!


cg 20 September 2010 at 9:09 pm

whole foods should have the whole wheat pastry flour…and one bag will last you a long time (i keep mine in the freezer and use it primarily for these pancakes). good luck!


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